Coffee Processing Methods
Dry / Natural
Coffee cherries are spread in a thin layer to dry in the sun. This could be on the ground or on a raised platform or ‘bed’ of some sort. The outer skin and fruit fibers are removed when the cherry is fully dry.
Wet / Washed
After harvest, the outer skin and fruit fibers are mechanically removed (depulping) and the beans are sorted and soaked in order to ferment away all remaining fruit fibers. After fermentation, the beans are washed and dried.
The outer skin is removed from the coffee cherry (using a depulper or forced demucilage equipment), leaving the flesh around the bean. The cherries are then spread out to dry and the dried flesh is removed from the beans when drying is complete.
Similar to the pulped-natural process, except with careful attention paid to the percentage of fruit left on the bean before drying. This process is specific to Central America, where honey (or miel) refers to the fleshy part of the coffee cherry.
Semi-Washed / Wet-Hulled
Coffee cherries are first de-pulped and briefly dried (to a higher moisture con-tent than other processes). Then the beans are hulled (removal of the parchment layer, which in all other processes happens just prior to shipment) and dried again. This process is specific to Brazil and Indonesia.